Well, the relaunch went (not) well…
It’s been a couple of months since I committed to getting back in touch with this blog and my readers, striving for a thrice-weekly update. I didn’t get there: life is (always) busy, there’s a FOSO (Fear of Starting Over) factor, recreational writing has become an unfamiliar habit. But the Covid-constrained times are also a consideration: What is there to say in an expat / travel blog when borders are closed and we’re all working from home?
I was reflecting on how to approach the return to expat blogging during my early-morning drive up to work this week. One could be prescriptive, the ‘Big 5’ personality traits that underlie success as a traveler and expatriate (extroversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability) may also be ones that lead to better outcomes during the lockdowns. Or it’s a story of perseverance, the ‘Stockdale Paradox’, describing an inner resilience that comes from facing reality and knowing you’ll prevail. Then there’s opportunity, organizational psychologist Adam Grant suggests using disruptive change to build new skills, renew best networks, and experiment with different ways of working and living.
There’s constructive approaches to essays in all of this. I follow a number of long-distance sailing vlogs and nomad traveler updates, and everyone has started from the same reality. as me. We’re abroad for travel, culture, people, and experiences. But borders are closed, quarantines lie at the end of every journey, and there’s no longer a way to indulge casual tourism. Rather, travel has become a matter of waiting, watching for openings, and then moving incrementally ahead. The best of expats and travelers are not moaning or repatriating as they adapt to the current circumstances: we all have been finding new ways to do what we love and to make the most of where we are at.
So in that spirit, I’ll take the second opportunity to relaunch here. I’ve been fortunate staying healthy, productive, engaged, and happy through 2020. There hve been lots of positive changes and adjustments. and I look forward to catching up with all of you again. I hope that you have all similarly found your way, and look forward to hearing your stories, thoughts, and comments.